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John McCain Takes Out His Beef With Amtrak On The Environment

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The current article you are reading does not reflect the views of the current editors and contributors of the new Ecorazzi

A couple months ago, acting on secret Ecorazzi business, I attended a very exclusive green party here in New York City. The speaker of the evening basically told us that — without a doubt — the world is ending and our civilization is falling. Note to future speakers: world ending prophesies are a total buzz kill at parties, yo! We aren’t however without hope, he assured us. One thing that could make a solid impact on the environment is if we could revive our barely breathing rail system. I’ll tell you this: the speaker was NOT John McCain. See, Johnny Mac ain’t so fond of the old choo-choo business.

In Derrick Jackson’s recent piece in the Boston Globe, he points out that McCain has fought hard throughout his political career to essentially kill Amtrak anyway he can. It started first in 2000 when McCain was chairman of the Senate Science, Commerce and Transportation committee and cut $10 billion in capital funding for Amtrak. Flash forward to 2002 when McCain said that, “Amtrak should be restructured to eliminate its reliance on the American taxpayers and to allow for its privatization.”

When Bush’s fiscal 2006 budget did not include a subsidy for Amtrak and cut $250 million for railroad rehabilitation, McCain was quoted as saying, “I’m glad the president is coming over with a very austere budget.” And of course, on his website under “reforming our transportation sector,” he makes no mention of the evil railroad system.

Is McCain holding the country responsible for never getting that choo-choo train he asked Santa for as a child? Is Cindy afraid of conductor hats? I guess we’ll never know exactly why McCain thinks reviving the rail system is a dead issue, but like our current president (read: presiDON’T) it seems that McCain is already standing firm on his decisions…even if they’re the wrong ones.

Go check out the original article at the BostonGlobe.com.


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